An invariable species with straw coloured wings sometimes strongly tinged with reddish brown. The leading forewing edges are a dark brown with a dark kidney mark. At rest the wings are tightly folded around the body so the moth closely resembles a piece of broken stem or twig.

The adults are attracted to light and flowers. The larvae feed at night between July and October and then overwinter as pupae underground.

Size and Family

  • Family – Darts, yellow underwings and clays (Noctuidae)
  • Small Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 28-32mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Feeds at night on a wide range of low-growing plants including Common Nettle (Urtica dioica) White Dead-nettle (Lamium album), Hound’s-tongue (Cynoglossum officinale) and Hedge Bedstraw (Galium mollugo).

Habitat

Found in a broad range of habitats but usually gardens, farmland, downland, hedgerows, heathland and woodland edges.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Common. Distributed throughout southern Britain, the Isle of Man and Ireland and also in the Channel Islands. Local in Scotland, mainly in the south and south-west. 
Flame - Tony Morris

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Flame (caterpillar) - Donald Hobern

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